AND HE SAID “The only way we can keep going is through our stories, our dancing and our painting” – Jack Britten 1921 July 2002.
Every aboriginal community in Australia from the Desert Communities around Alice Springs, Yuendumu, Balgo, Yagga Yagga, Halls Creek, Papunya, Fitzroy Crossing, Ringer Soak, who have encompassed the acrylic medium to suit their style of painting, to the Kalumburu and Mowanjum Wandjina and Bradshaw paintings in ochre and/or acrylic, the thick crusty ochre which stamps the Warmun (Kitja) peoples’ works; Kununurra painters including Emu Creek, Marralum, Glen Hill, Doon Doon Communities using finer ochre technique – from the wonderful cave paintings and dot art of Paddy Carlton to the delicate topographical depictions of Alan and Peggy Griffiths’ country just over the Northern Territory Border; the Arnhem Land and Tiwi Island people, to name a few – all have a story to tell, all have a style to teach the young ones all will survive, as Jack wisely said by handing down to each generation the knowledge of their land, the wisdom of their dreaming stories, the art of not only painting, but of creating traditional artefacts for the world to see authentic handmade boomerangs, digeridoos, woomeras, digging sticks, spears, nulla nullas, shields, wood carvings, bark paintings and coolamons, pottery, woven hunting bags, intricate woven headboards for joonbas (corroborees), exquisite woven mats from Oenpali, cleverly carved boab nuts from the Kimberley.
The world has at last acknowledged the unlimited talent of the Australian Aborigine countless books have been written on Papunya Tula Art, Bradshaw and Wandjina Art, the right of Aboriginal people to have access to the land on which they were born and bred, the relationship between the early settlers and the native people who worked with them – . There are available C.D’s and D.V.D.’s for instruction as to how to play a digeridoo, Aboriginal Songs, Aboriginal Dancing and Corroborees, and of course, limited edition prints of Exhibition standard of the best of our Aboriginal Painters. Also available are rare original photographs in black and white of Aboriginal people as they lived and hunted prior to the whitemans arrival and of their lives on the stations, at schools such as Beagle Bay, and their early assimilation with the wide wide world they have now come to recognise.
AND JACK look down and be proud that your wish for your people WILL happen a Master Painter, a great philosopher, a generous teacher.